Intern Mane Berikyan Recaps her first two weeks

Intern Mane Berikyan Recaps her first two weeks

Lecture #1: Aram Hamparian

On February 2nd, 2022, we were joined by ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian for a lecture on Armenian-American lobbying in the United States.

Mr. Hamparian began by outlining the history of the Armenian-American lobby, beginning with the story of Vahan Cardashian, who is widely regarded as one of the earliest lobbyists for the Armenian cause. He emphasized the significance of Cardashian’s story — although Cardashian was a remarkable man whose legacy continues to be upheld by the ANCA, today we have thousands of Vahan Cardashians in the United States who exponentially increase the potential for political impact.

Furthermore, Mr. Hamparian discussed the problem of divisions within the Armenian-American community, and the importance of directing compassion towards the Armenian cause. He outlined the phases of the Armenian lobby in the United States, placing particular emphasis on the 1960s when recognition of the Armenian Genocide became a focal point for advocacy, and a major policy issue for Armenians in the U.S.

Mr. Hamparian concluded by highlighting the need for more Armenians working in public policy in Washington DC. It is only through our continued involvement in the American political process that the Armenian cause be represented in our elected branches.

Lecture #2: Nora Hovsepian, Esq.

On February 4th, 2022, Chair of the ANCA WR Board of Directors, Nora Hovsepian, Esq., joined us for a lecture on the history of the ANCA and the Armenian Cause.

Ms. Hovsepian first covered the history of the Armenian-American Cause, or Hye Tahd, and its evolution by generations of Armenian-Americans. She then talked about ANCA WR’s organizational background, mission, and vision. Furthermore, she discussed the different forms of genocide denial, and various methods for countering this denial and advocating for accountability. By pursuing Recognition, Reparations, and Return of Lands, ANCA embodies the values of Hye Tahd.

Moreover, Ms. Hovsepian emphasized the importance of supporting Armenia and Artsakh, and the work the ANCA WR has done in recent years in service of these goals, including sending humanitarian aid, promoting democracy in Armenia, and multiple education initiatives. She concluded by discussing community organizing in the Western region, in which ANCA WR plays a leading role. Hearing from her was very inspirational, and it gave interns a chance to understand the foundational structure of the ANCA and its work.

Lecture #3: Tereza Yerimyan

On February 9th, 2022, ANCA’s Director of Government Affairs, Tereza Yerimyan, gave a lecture on her role in Washington DC and described the nature of working with elected officials in the federal government.

She gave us an opportunity to ask her questions about her day-to-day responsibilities, the challenges of her job, and broader questions about lobbying in DC. Ms. Yerimyan began by talking about her educational and professional background, and the importance of getting involved in public policy work early in one’s career. She described how she came to work for ANCA in Washington DC, beginning with an internship during her time at UCLA. She is also currently working towards a Master’s degree at Georgetown University.

Furthermore, Ms. Yerimyan relayed her experience working in DC, sharing stories about her lobbying work and skills she employs when attempting to advocate for the Armenian cause with various elected representatives in Congress. She shared the wide range of tactics she employs in attempting to influence American policy, including the tremendous work that often goes behind reaching each individual Congressperson. Moreover, she emphasized the importance of increasing Armenian presence in Washington DC in order to achieve more influence.

Tereza Yerimyan’s lecture provided important insights about lobbying in Washington DC and the career path it took to get there.

Lecture #4: Shaunt Kevork

On February 11th, 2022, we were joined by Co-Chair of the ANCA Professional Network Shaunt Kevork for a lecture on networking.

Mr. Kevork began by explaining the process of professional networking, and how we can utilize our own network to our benefit. He spoke about hidden job opportunities, various avenues to gain support, and gave recommendations for building and utilizing our professional network. He also gave tips on how to network, including using Linkedin, stepping out of our comfort zone to meet new people, and attending virtual and in-person networking events. He also emphasized that networking is a full-time venture, and something we should always be on the lookout for.

Lastly, Mr. Kevork concluded by imparting tips and suggestions for professional networking, and invited us to share educational and career opportunities we had gained by networking thus far.